Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern


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Medill on the Hill program gears up for new class, election season

Allowing+students+to+report+in+Washington+on+Capitol+Hill+with+full+press+credentials%2C+the+program+is+one+of+the+most+popular+for+Medill+students.
Photo Courtesy of Elleiana Green
Allowing students to report in Washington on Capitol Hill with full press credentials, the program is one of the most popular for Medill students.

The Medill on the Hill program is starting the new year with a new cohort and a new class.

The program allows students to report in Washington on Capitol Hill with full press credentials. The program has garnered more interest in recent years, leading Medill to offer the program for two quarters this academic year and next. 

Medill Prof. Matthew Orr, the MOTH program leader, said CBS News Congressional Correspondent Nikole Killion (Medill ‘99) will teach a new political science class in the program starting this winter. She will focus on the presidency, polarization in politics and the upcoming election.

“(The class is) appropriate given where things are and what’s going to be transpiring over the next few months,” Orr said. 

Typically, MOTH participants take two seminars that each meet once a week. They also participate in a daily reporting class, penning daily, enterprise and multimedia stories, among other projects. Each student earns four credits. 

Medill sophomore Lance Wilhelm is a part of the winter cohort this quarter. He said he’s looking forward to taking Killion’s class.

“She’s a great reporter, I know her work well,” Wilhelm said. “I watch the CBS Evening News at home with my parents all the time.”

Orr said the reporting class will focus on the election this year.

Students in the winter cohort will have the opportunity to attend reporting trips in New Hampshire and South Carolina to cover primaries, Orr said.

Elections — and specifically the presidential elections — are one of the driving forces in student interest in the program, Orr said. Typically, during a presidential election year, MOTH opens a fall cohort to cover the process. Now, however, Orr said he hopes to permanently host two cohorts a year.

“We’re seeing a lot of students applying for Medill on the Hill, so I would love to be able to continue to teach the class two quarters each year just so we can make sure that as many students that are clamoring for it can experience it,” Orr said.

Orr said one of the other major benefits of running the program for two quarters each year is the ability to immediately implement positive changes from student feedback. 

Each cohort tends to have a different set of reporting interests, Orr said. He added the winter group seems more interested in breaking news politics reporting, while the fall cohort was more interested in enterprise policy reporting. 

As the new cohort begins reporting, Wilhelm said he’s looking to get out of his comfort zone. 

Medill sophomore Elleiana Green, who participated in MOTH in the fall, said the program was a valuable experience. 

“That was like the first real professional experience I’ve ever had,” Green said. “It was an opportunity to learn something new every day. I learned more from being on the Hill and going to congressional hearings than I ever have in my life.”

 

Email: [email protected]

X: @nicolejmarkus

Related Stories: 

Medill on the Hill postponed to 2021-22 academic year due to Capitol Hill pandemic restrictions

Medill on the Hill to cover 2016 presidential campaign during Fall Quarter next year

Medill is back on the Hill: Students dive into politics coverage from the nation’s capitol

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